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Augmented Reality for Boardgames

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30 Apr 2018 10:03 #272245 by Shellhead
Just read an article that predicts the future of our hobby will be Augmented Reality:

slate.com/technology/2018/04/augmented-r...g-to-be-awesome.html

I have mixed feelings about this. As a kid, I was thrilled by that scene in Star Wars (New Hope whatever) where they were playing some kind of holographic chess on the Millennium Falcon, and it might be cool to have holograms augmenting AmeriTrash games. But would the cost of AR drive already high game prices into absurdity? Would anybody bother painting miniatures anymore? Are there certain kinds of games that wouldn't be suitable for AR? The article suggested that AR games might be designed to play with distant opponents, which would be a great feature, and that games could be paused and saved. If most of the pieces are AR, setup and take down could be fast. And maybe a visual tutorial could replace or supplement the rulebook. Better still, maybe have context-sensitive help video clips that are available via the AR.

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30 Apr 2018 10:33 #272249 by hotseatgames
I think VR and AR could make for some really cool experiences, and if there was a competent "miniatures skirmish" game for the HTC Vive, I'd buy it immediately.
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30 Apr 2018 10:37 - 30 Apr 2018 10:44 #272251 by Sagrilarus

Shellhead wrote: Just read an article that predicts the future of our hobby will be Augmented Reality:

slate.com/technology/2018/04/augmented-r...g-to-be-awesome.html

I have mixed feelings about this. As a kid, I was thrilled by that scene in Star Wars (New Hope whatever) where they were playing some kind of holographic chess on the Millennium Falcon, and it might be cool to have holograms augmenting AmeriTrash games. But would the cost of AR drive already high game prices into absurdity? Would anybody bother painting miniatures anymore? Are there certain kinds of games that wouldn't be suitable for AR? The article suggested that AR games might be designed to play with distant opponents, which would be a great feature, and that games could be paused and saved. If most of the pieces are AR, setup and take down could be fast. And maybe a visual tutorial could replace or supplement the rulebook. Better still, maybe have context-sensitive help video clips that are available via the AR.


Augmented Reality would be great for stamp collecting too. You could see other people's collections from across the country.

The article is a lazy prediction, because at some point the author is going to be able to point at something and declare it true. Some game will bring "Augmented Reality" (put in quotes because, frankly, Vassal is augmented reality and has been around for years) into the picture. There's a lot of games published each year, somebody is bound to stumble onto something.

But when does Augmented Reality bring something new to table-top gaming -- that's the question. When does it open up new design avenues? Golem Arcana tapped at it by having individual pieces provide additional information when you put the wand to them, allowing for hidden state, but that hasn't exactly revolutionized the gaming world. Discussions of saving games or playing remotely are all covered by existing computer technology which handle the issue with elan. Using augmented reality for those purposes is just a rebuild of an existing solution, one that makes you were an embarrassing facemask if the photo in the article is to be believed.

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30 Apr 2018 11:03 - 30 Apr 2018 11:03 #272254 by Deleted
Imagine a world where you don VR glasses and pick up imaginary pieces. You roll dice which are RFID chipped to talk to the phone (to tell it what was rolled) and the little nonexistent miniatures open fire upon the enemy, who falls, clutching its fountainous chest.

I’m in.

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30 Apr 2018 11:10 #272257 by Shellhead
One game that the article suggested would benefit from AR was Settlers of Catan. I don't see how, at least not in a way that actually improves the gameplay. I suppose there could be some players who would get excited about tiny 3D sheep, but the overall topic of Settlers is so dull and inert that AR enhancement would seem like severe overcompensation.
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30 Apr 2018 11:42 #272265 by Deleted
I think Stratego would be bad ass if it looked like Stratego but played like Battle Chess
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30 Apr 2018 12:10 #272268 by southernman
I'm out. I have a hard enough time keeping up with multiple pieces on a large colourful board these days without having it in 3D and constantly changing on me every time I turn away !
[Get off my lawn little fuckers]

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30 Apr 2018 12:42 #272273 by JMcL63
From its headline- "Augmented Reality Is Going to Change Board Games for the Better", to statements like "Augmented reality is the natural step in tabletop gameplay evolution", or "Augmented reality will be the next frontier for board games trying to stay relevant in a rapidly digitizing world", the article strikes me as hype and hogwash. I mean, wasn't it only in the past couple of years that people were writing about the appeal of boardgames precisely because they aren't digital? I'm sure VR will have some impact on boardgames, but it's a bit much to hype it like this article does when even the simple smartphone app has yet to have that much impact despite the ubiquity of these devices for several years now.
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30 Apr 2018 12:51 #272274 by Sagrilarus

Shellhead wrote: One game that the article suggested would benefit from AR was Settlers of Catan. I don't see how, at least not in a way that actually improves the gameplay. I suppose there could be some players who would get excited about tiny 3D sheep, but the overall topic of Settlers is so dull and inert that AR enhancement would seem like severe overcompensation.


Every demo that's ever been done on the subject has show Settlers of Catan. It's the official testbed for the concept, likely because of its broad appeal and notoriety with people stupid enough to buy $5,000 gaming tables. But you're right, Settlers has nothing to it that benefits from Augmented Reality.

A submarine game that hides position to varying degrees depending on proximity -- now you're talking. Augmented Reality has the ability to present muddy information in a muddy way, which would be a nice addition to tabletop gaming.

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30 Apr 2018 12:59 #272277 by hotseatgames
I literally just got an email about Catan VR.

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30 Apr 2018 14:10 - 30 Apr 2018 14:12 #272292 by Black Barney

Shellhead wrote: As a kid, I was thrilled by that scene in Star Wars (New Hope whatever) where they were playing some kind of holographic chess on the Millennium Falcon.


I don't know why I didn't do this but I sat a few times last week at a perfect recreation of this set piece. I thought of you guys and how I'd post a picture of me sitting at that table but decided that no one wants to see this ugly mug :(

i also sat in the c0ckpit of the Falcon too. Seems weird but sitting at the holographic chess table, with the back wall and everything, was far more impactful and emotional.

they even had that practice droid bot thing that Luke practices with

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30 Apr 2018 18:41 - 30 Apr 2018 18:46 #272332 by Sevej
My VR would be Talisman. Whenever you in a space you can see your surrounding in detail. No longer card pulls are just picture with text. Create more elaborate encounters and bring it alive on your eyes.

For augmented reality, convenient tabletop fog of war.

Easier line of sight checking for fully-fledged miniature games with 3d terrain. Bring up the stats of your unit with a touch on your minis.I keep my minis, the tactile experience, but greatly enhance it.
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